By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Coming into the 2020-2021 season, one major thing the Boston Bruins need to work on is even-strength scoring. One player that I think could play a factor in improving that area of need is Zach Senyshyn. The young forward is the topic of many debates amongst Bruins’ fans. He was drafted in the first round, 15th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. It was a controversial pick at the time. Many fans wanted the Bruins to take someone else in that spot. It hasn’t helped that Senyshyn’s development has been slower than most first-round picks. Despite the longer development time, I believe he’s going to be a major x-factor for the Bruins’ offense this season. Let’s dive into why that is.
Zach Senyshyn with some nice board-play before he deked two defenders and setup the goal for Lauko. Senyshyn received his first point on the season, but he’s been playing very well, IMO. His distribution and playmaking has also been on display to start the year. #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/fu3ZMzh7a5— Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork) October 27, 2019
Looking at Senyshyn’s 2019-2020 season in Providence, nothing really jumps off the page at you. In 42 games, he netted seven goals while dishing out nine assists for 16 total points (stats courtesy of EliteProspects). That’s a .38 point per game pace, which is slightly up from his 2018-2019 season of .36 (stats courtesy of EliteProspects). Despite these offensive numbers, Senyshyn possesses great offensive and skating ability. Though his offensive numbers are down in the AHL, Senyshyn proved he has exceptional offensive skills during his time with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL.
Zach Senyshyn carries the puck through the NZ with speed, beats the defense and dishes to Paul Carey who taps it in. Senyshyn continues to make plays like this each night and definitely deserves another shot in Boston, IMO. Zboril also picks up an assist here. #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/UBPXlYk9Gu— Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork) March 12, 2020
In 195 games played with the Greyhounds, Senyshyn netted 114 goals while dishing out 63 assists for 177 total points (stats courtesy of EliteProspects). That’s a .91 point per game total (stats courtesy of EliteProspects). While in the OHL, the young forward showed off his elite skating ability, along with his ability to score and create chances. This was why the Boston Bruins drafted him in the first round in 2015. In my opinion, there’s reason to believe that Senyshyn can score at the NHL level. His elite skating ability is the best part of the young forward’s game. This is something that has continued to shine in the AHL. He’s able to create chances because of this speed.
Zach Senyshyn scores his first of the season on the PP. Great keep by Zboril and an even better look. Zboril looked off the goalie and defense before feeding Senyshyn with authority. Nice to see Zboril making plays and think both of them have been playing well. #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/J6o8zidY5M— Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork) October 31, 2019
The speed that Senyshyn possesses could help make the Bruins’ offense elite. The Bruins desperately need to improve their five on five scoring numbers. Senyshyn can help open up all areas of the ice to create more chances not only for himself but for his teammates as well. Our boys in black and gold have been bounced from the playoffs because of their even-strength scoring. Senyshyn’s ability could be just the thing that opens that up. Something else that helps prove my point is Senyshyn’s four-game stint in Boston last season. The young forward looked fantastic playing with Charlie Coyle on the third-line. Unfortunately, an injury put an end to his time in Boston, but it gave us a good look at what to expect from Senyshyn.
#NHLBruins prospect Zach Senyshyn has some serious speed. On 12/13, he went hashmark-to-hashmark from a complete standstill in 6.0-seconds. Pay close attention to the end of his rush— he spun around and passed the puck directly in front of the net. Impressive skills. pic.twitter.com/JVqka64QZF— Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork) December 30, 2017
I believe if you give Senyshyn minutes on Coyle’s wing that it would help not only the entire third line but the team as a whole. Ultimately, it’s up to the Bruins what they want to do moving forward. I believe using the former first-round pick gives Boston a simple solution to a problem they’ve had for multiple years now. The combination of Senyshyn’s speed and skill could help make the Bruins more exciting than they’ve been in years. I hope everyone is staying safe. Feel free to send me any questions or comments on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!